photo of kumbh mela

The Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad

On the banks of India’s most sacred river, Ganga Ma …

the Kumbh Mela is humanity’s largest gathering

still celebrated after thousands of years as the greatest of Indian festivals.

The Greatest of Indian Festivals – The Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad

Celebrated on the banks of India’s most sacred rivers, the Ganga, Kshipra, and Godavari, the Maha Kumbh Mela is the world’s oldest and largest spiritual gathering. Part mass pilgrimage and part festival, millions of people from all over the world – representing every culture, nationality and faith — come together every four years in India on this monumental and majestic occasion.

A Kumbh Mela presents a rare opportunity for the public to witness some of India’s oldest and most sacred rituals, passed down over many generations from the kings of India, performed by an elite of special Brahmin priests, and witnessed by monks, sages and sadhus – holy men and women from many different cultures around the world who only rarely appear in public on occasions of great significance such as the Mahakumbh.

The history of Kumbh Mela goes back to the time of the Rig Veda.  Where the river Ganga and Yamuna join the invisible river Saraswati in a confluence known as the Sangam, great yajas, ancient rites and rituals have been performed for the prosperity and well being of the public, since time immemorial.  That place is called Prayag Raj just outside of modern Allahabad.  It is there where the Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 will be celebrated.

In previous Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, more than 75 million people attend. They witness the traditional rites and rituals of invocation of the great personalities of Nature and the Sky, and obtain the resulting blessings of peace and prosperity as well as those offered by the spiritual and religious leaders – sadhus and babas who have gathered for the event.

Kumbh Mela 2013 Schedule 

Juna Akhara

11th Nov. 2012 • Entry into Allahabad 11.15 AM
28th Nov. 2012 • Airth Puja 12 noon
06th Dec. 2012 • Dharma Flag Puja 11:15 AM
18th Dec. 2012 • Entry into Akhara Camp 1:55 PM
14th Jan. 2013 • Makar Sankranti Shahi Snan 6:05 AM
10th Feb. 2013 • Mauni Amavasya Shahi Snan 5:30 AM
15th Feb. 2013 • Basant Panchami Shahi Snan 7:10 AM

Date of other Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 Snans

27th of January • Paus Purnima Snan
06th of February • Ekadasi Snan (Bairagi)
17th of February • Rath Saptami Snan
18th of February • Bhishma Ekadashi Snan
25th of February • Maghi Purnima Snan

Juna Akhara

Head of Juna Akhara - H.H. Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji

Juna Akhara

With more than 400,000 sannyasi members, Juna Akhara is by far the largest order of sadhus in India, today, the vast majority are Naga Babas. They have been called the defenders of the Sanatan Dharma. The word Naga, in this case, is derived from the Sanskrit word, nagna, meaning “naked.” And indeed Naga Babas are known for marching naked, covered with ashes, during the colorful sacred bathing rites at the Kumbh Mela.

Naga Babas & Sadhus of Juna Akhara

oldest sadhu in Juna Akhara

My Gurus: Naga Baba Arjun Puri Ji Maharaj

My Gurus: Shri Mahant Arjun Puri Ji Maharaj Shri Mahant Arjun Puri Ji Maharaj – although not formally among my Five Gurus, was made my “Siddh” guru, and as such I always honored him exactly the […]

Naga Baba Hari Puri Ji Maharaj

My Gurus: Naga Baba Hari Puri Ji Maharaj

My Gurus: Naga Baba Hari Puri Ji Maharaj Baba Hari Puri Ji Maharaj – delivered me into the hands of Guru Dattatreya. He made me aware of the Guru-Shishya Parampara,  inserted me into that oral tradition, […]

Naga Babas March Naked to the Royal Bath

Naga Babas procession

The procession, or peshwai, of the Naga Sadhus of Juna Akhara during the Kumbh Mela at Hardwar, 2010, on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya, the dark moon, on March 15.

naga baba dwarf chants om namah shivaya

Dwarf chants Om Namah Shivaya

A dwarf leads the Naga Babas, Naked Yogis, of Juna Akhara chanting “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!” From the 1998 Kumbh Mela in Hardwar.

Naga Baba Bir Giri Ji takes his Ganga bath

Naga Baba Bir Giri Ji

Naga Baba Bir Giri Ji takes his holy Ganga bath in Haridwar. Baba Rampuri tells his story.

Shri Mahant Naga Baba Rampuri Ji

Foreign Naga Babas proclaimed Shri Mahant

Foreign Naga Babas proclaimed Shri Mahant in Juna Akhara. Baba Rampuri, Mangalanand Puri, and Vasudev Puri, are first foreigners honored as “Shri Mahants” in the ancient Indian ritual of proclamation in front of Guru Dattatreya and […]

Head of Juna Akhara - H.H. Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji

Juna Akhara

With more than 400,000 sannyasi members, Juna Akhara is by far the largest order of sadhus in India, today, the vast majority are Naga Babas. They have been called the defenders of the Sanatan Dharma. The word Naga, in this case, is derived from the Sanskrit word, nagna, meaning “naked.” And indeed Naga Babas are known for marching naked, covered with ashes, during the colorful sacred bathing rites at the Kumbh Mela.

Naga Babas at the Kumbh Mela

Naga Babas

They are the Naga Babas, “the naked ones”, belonging to an order founded by Dattatreya (a naked philosopher not totally unlike the Greek Diogenes) in the Treta Age (a long long time ago), and finally organized […]